By the time you read this, there may or may not be a declared winner. But Joe Biden is looking quite good as of this morning, so I’m going to tempt fate and assume he’ll win. If he subsequently loses, we’ll all have much more to worry about than the irrelevance of this post.
For some reason, this presumed victory has been greeted with widespread depression and dread among the victors — including those in my own home. Why the prospect of winning the presidency and simultaneously losing Donald Trump should provoke anything but pure rapture seems odd, but I certainly understand where it’s coming from.
We wanted an overwhelming repudiation not just of Trump, but of the Republican party. That didn’t happen, which is indeed distressing. We wanted to take over the Senate, so much we could taste it. And while we may yet win the Senate, it still feels like Lucy yanked the football away again. The thought of McConnell still in charge makes us physically sick.
But more than that, we’re shocked and appalled at how many more dumbasses there are out there than we thought. People who would obviously rather die than see what’s in front of their eyes. We may have been inclined to indulge the idiocy of their 2016 vote, but no more. They have shown, categorically, that they bought into the whole Trump catastrophe, and they’re still fine with it.
Trump got more votes than he did four years ago — close to seventy million — which is simply unfathomable. And unforgivable. These people have surrendered their souls, but it’s more than that. They’ve tried to kill us all, themselves included, and they damn near succeeded.
This is hard. Part of being a Democrat is wanting to think better of our fellow man, but these fools have made that impossible. We’ve all lost our innocence.
But with that said, I’m actually here to talk about the bright side.
Bright sides, plural. There are many, and now that it’s Friday, maybe we’re ready to look on a few of them.
First, there’s the mother of all bright sides: Donald Trump won’t be president. Let’s take a moment to savor that. We will actually be free, in theory at least, to think about something besides the wanton trashing of our entire way of life.
Then there’s the fact that Joe Biden will command the entire executive branch. It will be battered, to be sure, but hundreds of thousands of civil servants will surely be elated to have survived four years of hell with their jobs intact. They should also be eager to clean out the stables.
And keep in mind that Trump has rashly expanded the scope of the executive order beyond all previous norms. There is much irony here, because those who lust for a unitary executive seem not to have considered the possibility of a Democratic unitary executive. Trump gathered a lot of power to himself — or, actually, the presidency — some of it blessed by the courts. Biden would be foolish not to use it.
Biden will have a lot of power to remake the State Department, the EPA, the intelligence community, and all the other departments that took such heavy hits from the ham-handed Trumpies.
There will be a slew of empty positions to fill, especially at the top levels of the agencies. Remember, Trump had all those “actings” he couldn’t get confirmed, and installing actual competency in those positions is something of a national emergency.
McConnell will do what he can to gum up the confirmation process, but he can only take it so far. We all know that he and his idiot colleagues have no interest in governing, but even he knows there’s a lot of governing called for.
After all, there’s still an out-of-control pandemic infecting 100,000 people a day. Not to mention an economy in deep trouble. I have to believe even McConnell will evince just a little interest in these things, once the dingbat is removed from the White House.
Speaking of which, imagine the sigh of relief from surviving Republican senators. Free at last of the tweeting ogre, they can now work on cleaning the fecal matter from their noses, though the stink of Trump will linger in the air their whole careers.
What will this mean for bipartisan legislation? Probably very little, but again, there’s a pandemic and Republicans have not covered themselves in glory.
Okay, so that wasn’t exactly a bright side. But here’s a really bright one: Biden will appoint a new Attorney General.
That’s right, Bill Barr will be gone and federal prosecutors will sing “Ding-Dong the Witch is Dead” in all halls of justice. This means the entire mechanism of federal law enforcement will be back in rational hands — DOJ and FBI, for starters. And that means we’ll see investigations.
In my fantasies, the new AG is Adam Schiff, but what I really want is somebody angry. I want to see an assembly line of investigations as long as the voting lines in Georgia.
I can think, right off the bat, of a hundred people who need to be in prison and stripped of their assets — and those are just the ones I know about.
I am not interested in national reconciliation at this time. Too many crimes were committed. They need to be punished. And don’t be too gentle.
As bright sides go, the restoration of the executive branch to objective reality and rational thought should cheer you up, at least a little. There may be some bright sides in the legislative branch as well, but we first need to see how it settles.
Of course, the judicial branch remains a dark side — even darker than it was last week — so let’s not go all Pollyanna just because we won.
But for now, there’s a lot to like here. Let’s take a few minutes to breathe it in. Then we can get to work on the midterms.